NEW YORK - It’s hard to track how many hours Sasha Allenby has spent preparing hot meals in the last three months.
From shepherd's pie to lentil stew and vegetable dishes, it’s all for the many New Yorkers struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The East Village resident is a volunteer with the “Hungry Monks Rescue Truck”, a non-profit that provides free food to low-income residents.
“I feel like that’s the most important thing we can do as New Yorkers in the moment. Make an impact on the challenges that we’re facing in food insecurity," Allenby said.
Allenby, too, has had her fair share of challenges recently.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall.
“It’s kind of that moment that every woman dreads and it was an intense experience, but from there as a family we decided to be very positive and take a very positive outlook on it," Allenby said.
An early diagnosis and aggressive treatment plan left Allenby feeling positive.
Right before the pandemic reached New York, Allenby’s tumor was removed.
She continued with radiation therapy and didn’t need chemotherapy.
"Really for me it was one of the biggest blessings of the whole journey, because it meant that in this time of COVID, now I'm in a state of health where I can do a lot of things for my community," Allenby said.
Despite feeling tired and weak, Allenby used all the energy she had to get out of bed and make a difference.
"I didn’t feel concerned about my health in these times. I was more focused on what to do and the issues that we need to address," Allenby said.
Doctors were inspired by her quick recovery and will to give back.
"I’m just really proud of her, and I just think it’s a story that I’m going to share with other breast cancer patients moving forward as something that’s truly inspirational," said Dr. Sarah Cate, breast surgeon at Blavatnik Family – Chelsea Medical Center at Mount Sinai.
Allenby says she’s grateful to have recovered when she did just in time to give back to her fellow New Yorkers.
"In many ways it was a very life-affirming experience and something that I’ve learned a lot from and grown a lot from," Allenby said.
So, for overcoming her own obstacles to help others with theirs, Sasha Allenby is our New Yorker of the week.